French police arrest activists after break-in at ‘forever chemicals’ plant

Around 300 people from the Extinction Rebellion and Youth for Climate groups cut through fences to reach the Arkema site at Pierre-Benite factory near Lyon in southeast France, a spokesman for the organisers said.

Once inside they deployed banners and spray-painted graffiti including “PFAS tell the truth” and “Arkema is poisoning us”. Police counted around 150 protesters.

“We want to close to door for the ‘forever chemicals’ that Arkema is dumping into the Rhone river,” Julien, a spokesman for the organisers, told AFP.

“And at the same time, we want to open the door because everything that’s happening here is being done in secret,” he said.

PFAS, Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), are a family of around 4,000 chemical compounds often referred to as “forever chemicals” because of their long lifespans in bodies and the environment. They resist grease, oil, water and heat.

Read more: France 24